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Mark Levinson Sound System


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We purchased a GX470 with the Mark Levinson sound system and Navigation package in March for my wife. Her previous car was a LS400 with the Nakamichi system. The Nakamichi blows the Levinson away.

Does anyone have any suggestions that might improve the sound of the ML System? I realize that the "sound chamber" for the GX is vastly different than the LS. But the GX sounds muddy with too much bass. Almost all of the front speakers are mounted in the door so it is easy to block them with your leg. The ML system just doesn't have the same "punch" as the Nakamichi. The sound seems to coming out of a hole near the floor board instead of surrounding you with sound.

And AM "sports talk" sounds terrible in the GX. My Ford Expedition has better sound than this $2400 upgrade. I get vibration in the door when listening to AM.

I will say that the ML system is very good when playing a DVD movie. But I don't do that very often.

Does Lexus have any specialists for the sound system? The local dealer has not been much help in this area. One of their suggestions was to "turn down the bass" when I listen to AM. What great advice!

Thanks for your help.

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:unsure: Interesting comments on the Levinson. I have a 1999 GS400 with the Nakamichi and love it, especially when making the seats vibrate. Anyway, I am in the market for the GX as soon as the KDSS is available and had heard that the Levinson was the state of the art sound system. Hmmmmm.
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The Levinson system sounds great when you turn it up loud. But we normally listen at lower levels so that we can also hold a conversation. And its just not as good as the Nakamichi at these levels.

Also, the Nakamichi subwoofer was on the back dash with the trunk below it. You could really feel it in you back. The GX has subwoofers in the doors, and you feel the door pulse since your arm is resting against it. Maybe this was the best they could do considering the space they had to work with. Its not bad, just not as good as the Nakamichi IMO.

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I have a new 04 GX and I think the ML sound system is great. I agree that the bass is very prominent and may be too much for some folks, but I love it, it's not flabby, it's tight and refined. My wife commented that if she really wants to crank it, it's nice, but other times it's too much. So that sounds like your experience. Maybe the Nakamichi system was geared more to the upper frequencies.

Maybe you should experiment with the bass level and mid level on the system adjustments. I have my treble turned up a little and my bass at the mid point.

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Before I matured and made some money to buy a vehicle like the GX I used to play with stereos in all my other cars. My favorite to play with was MBQuart, PPI, and JLAudio equipment. Of course when you buy after market equipment like listed, your listening experience should be more enjoyable. BUT in the GX the Levinson system is very close to the aftermarket equipment I used the play with. Besides no cutting up the vehicle to install this stuff.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Sorry I missed this back when it was posted...

I think what you're experiencing is sound in an SUV vs sound in a car. Its MUCH harder to install a good stereo in an SUV than in a car because of the increased interior volume and decreased mounting points (like having the put the subwoofers in the doors). The ML system is great in all the Lexus cars...

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  • 16 years later...

Does anyone have experience taking a GX470 non-ML audio system, and making it...audiophile worthy? As in as-good or better than the ML system? I imagine this would require that new speaker locations are drilled in, completely new speakers installed, new amp, new double-din receiver, and new reverse camera. 

Anyone have thoughts or suggestions on this? 

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